Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Went "Hiking"

Static and I headed for the hills in pre-dawn San Jose.

It looked like this opposite the sun.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Standing Still

This post was going to be about my hip and how I can't run for a while, but I lost interest. I have plenty of photos, though. Here are a couple more from our summer trip to America. Maybe I'll write about our trip to the dentist next.

Running in Provo

Ice Cream in Mukilteo

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Vacation is Over

We're back from a delightful five-week break and I start work again tomorrow. I felt the weight of responsibility come to rest on me as we began our final descent into San Jose. This vacation was different. I didn't have the nagging urge to get back to work the whole time, we didn't stress ourselves out trying to visit everybody we knew, I kept up my exercising (though not my diet), and slept in almost everyday. It was wonderful. I never thought I'd be able to truly retire and just stop working, but I'm beginning to warm up to the idea. I don't need to worry about that for awhile, though, there's plenty to do for the time being. Now I'll provide a travelog.

We flew into Salt Lake City July 2nd, rented an expensive Suburban and made it to Arctic Circle around midnight. I remembered Arctic Circle being tasty. Memory is not reliable. We reached my sister-in-law's place in Bluffdale shortly thereafter. It was Fast Sunday and we walked to her ward the next morning. It was beautiful. Church in one's native language is a wonderful treat. Celebrating and singing the hymns of your national day in your own nation is another unparalleled sweetness. I felt a long forgotten joy that day. It stayed with me. My sister-in-law and her family are delightful and we loved our time with them. We had the good fortune of visiting with good friends we hadn't seen in several years. We have friends everywhere we go, but there are only a few with whom we share a more familiar bond. There's nothing better than spending time with close friends--friends who know they can make fun of you and nobody will be offended. The next weekend was spent in family reunion with my aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and parents. My extended family are like the close friends I described earlier--all of them wonderfully kind, funny and happy people. We loved spending time with them. The next week was my more immediate family reunion. While we had fun, it was too short and we didn't get the time we would have liked to spend with my siblings. That done, we flew on to Seattle.

I started this on August 7th and just found it now on October 5th. I'm posting it as is. I also just noticed how often I use the word wonderful. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Snickers Diet

It was wrong and I understand that now. I've been organizing files in my klunker tonight and that's made me tired, but it should make for some fun posts in the future. Anyway, back to the Snicks. I'm a glutton with a modicum of self-discipline. So, for the longest time I was able to resist the temptations to buy the large boxes of Snickers or Twix as I passed them every trip we took to PriceSmart--the Costco of Costa Rica. I'm also cheap and it just didn't seem like that great of a deal. At the height of my corpulent decadence, however, I gave in. I threw a box of Snickers in the cart and then figured if I was in for a penny . . . and in went the Twix. Buyer's remorse set in soon after getting home. It was too much. I was too fat and there was no way I should eat all this candy bar. It was time for something drastic. So the Snickers diet was conceived. At first, it would be just a Snickers a day and water. I was sure to lose weight. Before starting, though, I considered that the nutrients from fruits and vegetables were probably important and I shouldn't just drop them altogether. She recommended that I at least have some fish as well and I acquiesced. My final compromise was allowing for grains, which I also understand are good for the body.

And so, March 1st I began the Snickers diet. And it worked. I was pretty faithful. The Snickers were at work, so I didn't have any at home on the weekends. That led to allowing substitutes on Saturdays and Sundays. I may have gotten carried away. Regardless, I lost about 5 pounds the first week, gained a pound the second week, then lost another 4 pounds the following week. By then, I was slipping and cheating on the diet more and more. I didn't totally fall off the wagon, though, and have managed to maintain my weight loss. The diet ended April 1st and as its end neared, I conceived of ways to keep the weight off while eating more than just on the diet. This involved more exercise. I started with pull-ups 3x a week. Then I added push-ups on the non-pull-up days. Then I added additional running (I was already running and biking everyday (about 2.5 miles each (the distance between home and work))). This has helped as I increased my caloric intake following the end of the diet. I've kept up with the exercising. The Snickers box, though, had 48 bars in it and the diet wasn't long enough to consume them all, so I've continued ingesting one a day. I've got about a week's worth left.

That's where I was when I found that New York Times article last week. A friend had posted it on Facebook. I was mesmerized. I didn't even finish the article before going to the YouTube video it referenced and staying up until 2 AM to watch the 90 minute lecture on sugar. It all made sense. Here's the article: Is Sugar Toxic? I highly recommend it. It's changed my whole way of thinking. My revolutionary Snickers diet was based on the assumption that if I burned more calories than I consumed I'd lose weight. It basically worked, but I was doing my body no favors by eating a candy bar every day. So, I'm jumping on the bandwagon and looking to drastically reduce my sucrose/fructose intake. I've already given up soda (not too difficult--I've done that before). I'll go much further than that when I start my low-sugar diet on May 1st--about the same time I finish my 48th Snickers.

I feel so empowered!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Everybody Needs a Holiday

Shutdown averted, we were able to celebrate Juan Santamaria day without worry. I headed to the beach with a colleague and surfed for the first time in 11 years. This photo is from that surf trip in 2000. I'm the one with the pony tail in the photo. I cut it that year, after having met Her. We married a little over a year afterwards and Static was born 9 months later. My surfing trip today kept me away from home longer than I anticipated and everybody was disappointed I was so late, especially Static. We hung out a bit, ate dinner, and then I put them to bed. When I sat down in front of the computer after Castle, the web browser was opened to a WikiHow article--How to Have Fun With Your Dad. It provides seven steps for broaching the subject with your dad and then some other tips and suggestions. Static had followed them to the letter when I got home today trying to get me to spend some time with him. I guess it's time to start teaching Static to surf.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I haven't blogged for a while - we've been busy and it's only going to get worse as we get ready to leave this place. But I wanted to share some things. Static casually mentioned over dinner the other day that he would be performing in a lunchtime talent show. Apparently his school had asked for volunteers and he signed up. We were able to make it to see him play. He played a classical piece I'm not familiar with - not Mozart, but way beyond the one-handed "Rubber Duckie" I struggled with as an early piano student. More amazing than his apparent musical talent, though, was how he seemed to have no fear of getting up in front of the lunchtime crowd to play this complete 2-part composition from memory. I enjoy being a dad.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

On Monday, all the children were acting up so I put them on the couch for a 5-minute time out. Smiley retaliated by urinating on the couch. Later that evening, he climbed up on the buffet, grabbed a miniature Chinese terra cotta warrior that we had bought in Beijing and dashed it against the floor. On Thursday he pushed a rolling office chair down the stairs . . . his momentum carried him down with it. He's okay, but still showing bruises on his face. Then today, he climbed up this lattice-style concrete wall in our living room, pulled off a glass votive and dashed that to the ground. He then played with the shiny pieces and cut his thumb. He's pretty tough, though. Instead of crying and running to us, he started to climb back up the wall. When he noticed the red marks he was making he then began to finger paint with his own blood. I was playing the piano and hadn't noticed until She came in the room and asked what was on the wall. He's bandaged up now and sleeping fine, but whew, what a week.

My apologies for no pictures - our hard drive with all the photos is dead. Also my apologies to the friend to whom I just wrote the preceding story in an email - I had to share it with everybody else.